By Ruth Carol

You must be wondering how the two terms, online shopping and the environment, ended up in one sentence. Well, this is because almost all human behaviors have an effect on the environment. With the current COVID-19 pandemic situation in the world and people minimizing movements, online shopping has become the go to for most of us. While at it you might also think of the planet and how to save it from any harm. I will show you how easily achievable it is.

Reduce Carbon Footprint

Take a look at a situation where you need groceries for your house. You are not the only one probably two or three others from your neighborhood need the same. When all of you buy the items online, only one vehicle will be used by the store to deliver the items but when all of you decide to get into your cars and drive to the store you will have increased the amount of carbon footprint on the environment. Online retail stores are able to optimize delivery to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the environment.

Personally Collect Packages

In a situation where the pick up point is nearer to customers, they should consider picking up the packages instead of having them delivered to their door steps. This will also reduce the amount of carbon footprint.

Recycle Packaging Materials

Online shops do lots of packaging some of which are harmful to the environment. You can save the environment by recycling the packaging materials or disposing them carefully. You can take them back to the online store in cases where there are drop off points set up or you can drop them at any recycling center available near you. Some online store also allow customers to choose the type of packaging materials. In this case you can select returnable crates or recyclable cardboard.

Order From One Store

In situations where you have a long shopping list or even just two different items, order from one online retailer and not different shops. This will reduce the number of delivery trips made to your house and also the amount of packaging material will not be as much as having all the different supplies packaged differently.

Avoid Goods That Have High Return Rates

Goods such as shoes and clothes that have high return rates should be bought at a physical store instead of buying them from an online store having them delivered then later having them picked up again for return.

Avoid Missing Deliveries

A missed delivery will mean the delivery person has to try it again therefore increasing the amount of carbon footprint. When a delivery time and point has been agreed upon, try and ensure you are available to receive your package. You can also agree with someone else to do the pickup for you in case you are not available to do it yourself at the agreed time.

Do Not Impulse Buy

This is as simple as if you don’t need it don’t buy it!


Online shopping is mostly convenient but before shopping online, ask yourself whether the item is available at a local retail store near you. Online shopping will only be safe for the environment when we prioritize the factors I have discussed above. The ball is now on your court!!